Latin American food fund started

Politicians from four nations say $100m fund will ease regional suffering.

    Protests against high food prices have
    erupted across the world [EPA]

    "This food crisis is the biggest demonstration of the historic failure of
    the capitalist model," he said at the Alternative for the People of Our America (ALBA) summit in Caracas.

     

    Also at the summit, leaders pledged their support to Bolivia ahead of a referendum vote in May in which the nation's more prosperous eastern provinces are seeking greater autonomy from the capital, La Paz, and its socialist policies.

     

    'Silent tsunami'

     

    Chavez said a regional food distribution system was needed to cut out the so-called "middle-men" who were increasing prices.


    Your Views

    How is the rising cost of staple foods affecting you?



    Send us your views

    "We have to create a regional trade network to stop us falling into the hands of speculators," he said.
     
    Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia all import much of their foodstuff, with Bolivia forced to grant small farmers who grow corn, rice, wheat and soya beans interest-free loans as incentives for production.
     
    The group's food security plan includes projects to help boost
    output of grains, especially corn and rice and vegetables, as well as milk
    and water, and improve irrigation, the Venezuelan leader said.
     
    Global food prices, affected by rising fuel prices, environmental changes and increased demand from India and China, have sparked often violent protests this year in more than 35 countries in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
     
    The leaders' announcement comes after the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that a "silent tsunami" of hunger is sweeping across the globe, with an additional 100 million people facing poverty.
     
    "This is the new face of hunger - the millions of people who were not in the urgent hunger category six months ago, but now are," Josette Sheeran said in a speech during a UK summit on the global food crisis.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.